State officials launched a campaign Monday called a “Dose of Reality” to raise public awareness about the dangers of misusing opioid pain medications.Gov. Pete Ricketts, Attorney General Doug Peterson, U.S. Attorney Deb Gilg and University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor Jeffrey Gold announced the campaign to prevent painkiller abuse.
"Opioid abuse negatively impacts our kids, families, and communities,” Ricketts said. “Working together, we can keep this public health crisis from plaguing our state. Thanks to the work of the Attorney General and this coalition, we are taking a proactive step today to prevent future abuse.”
The Nebraska Press Association as well as the Broadcasters Association are committed to helping spread the word.
"Nebraska is in an enviable position of being proactive, rather than reactive, to the opioid problem,” Dr. Gold said. “By working together, we can avert a public health crisis through sharing information about the risks involved in misusing these medications.”
Medical professionals are also onboard. The Nebraska Medical Association, Nebraska Pharmacy Association, Nebraska Hospital Association, CoalitionRX, and the Nebraska MEDS Coalition have all pledged to spread the prevention message -- a key step in educating about prescription drug abuse and protecting against hospital admissions and deaths from overdose.
Additionally, the Nebraska Association of County Officials, Nebraska League of Municipalities, the Greater Omaha Chamber, and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, have come together to help support this effort.
“We are joining forces to work together in protecting Nebraskans from the harmful impacts of addiction and the ravages it can cause to families and futures,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson, "Nebraskans are not immune from this problem, we all need to work together and do something about it."
Last fall, a Nebraska Opioid Summit was attended by 300 held at UNMC in Omaha. The Summit was the first step in the formation of a coalition to work in the areas of prevention, law enforcement and treatment in addressing the state’s concerns.